When you mishandle something, you make a mess of it. For example, a teacher who mishandles a classroom loses control of his students.

An entrepreneur who mishandles an important meeting at her bank might have lost an opportunity to borrow money for her business, and a dog trainer who mishandles an aggressive dog might end up getting bitten. When you handle something, you deal with it, and when you add the Old English prefix mis-, it means that you've dealt with it in a "wrong" or "bad" way.

Definitions of mishandle
  1. verb
    manage badly or incompetently
    synonyms: misconduct, mismanage
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    type of:
    care, deal, handle, manage
    be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
  2. verb
    make a mess of, destroy or ruin
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